The Lake Chelan American Viticultural Area (AVA), one of Washington’s newest, was granted its federal viniferal designation in 2009. The region, long known for prodigious fruit orchards, glistening lake waters and seasonal throngs of tourists that enjoy the 24,000 acre watery play land, is a natural location for a burgeoning wine industry. Sun-drenched days are quickly cooled by deep glacial waters, creating optimum growing conditions and less risk of excessive heat and fruit-killing frost than other agricultural regions in Eastern Washington. Located approximately 120 miles southeast of Seattle and stretching 50 miles deep into the mountains of the Cascade range, the 1,500-foot deep Lake Chelan was formed by ancient glacial activity, leaving both a dramatic landform and the largest concentration of pumice and ash in the Cascade Range. Volcanic eruptions spewed forth vast quartz and mica deposits; prime ingredients of the sandy vineyard sediment that gives Chelan wines their discernible mineral overtones. The grapes are gaining a reputation for producing outstanding Northern European varietals, and winemakers are being lured away from larger, big-city competitors with the goal of giving this subset of the Columbia Valley region its own reputation as a world-class wine region. Native Americans and Italian immigrants were among the first to plant grapes before the turn of the 20th century. It’s almost a secret that 70 years ago, more than 150 acres of Vinifera were planted in the region. That number has more than doubled and is anticipated to grow exponentially in the next decade. The 20+ Lake Chelan wineries that make their home in the upper Columbia Valley are divided into three winery touring areas: North Shore (the Manson area), South Shore and downtown Chelan. Nearly every Lake Chelan winery enjoys striking views of the lake, and all share the desire to make Chelan a year-round tourist destination. Scroll down for a comprehensive list of Lake Chelan wineries and click “map view” to access the advanced winery search. Whether you would like to visit a winery that provides beautiful vineyard lodging, has food available to complement its wines, or hosts vineyard weddings, we make it easy to find the best Lake Chelan wine tour and wine tasting venues.